Posted by Seamus on March 10, 2000 at 07:38:45:
My Cousins and dear friends,
At long last I have returned here to Ft. Augusta. I must tell you of the most arduous journey I have ever had. When we left Fort Shirley with Col. Armstrong to go upon the Expedition against Kittanning, we were full of spirit and great expectation that this would be a great and successful campaign. We had 307 men, with horses, baggage and new equipment compliments of the Provincial Council, who had endorsed this Expedition. We were not challenged on the entire march by the enemy, until we were encamped on the last night before the attack upon the village. Our scouts had spied what was reported to be a small group of the enemy, all Indians, around a fire several perches from where we intended to encamp. The colonel ordered a withdrawal of about 100 perches, and Lt. Hogg and a detachment were ordered to keep a watch and if prudent, attack this reported small group to prevent them from cutting our escape route. We then took a circuitous route around their encampment, and the pilots who were to guide us became confused as to how to get to our objective. This was a foreboding of things to come! We had as an objective to be in the cornfield below the town by midnight, as we desired the light of the moon to aid us. However, it was not to be. We did not arrive at the designated site until perhaps 3:00 am. The colonel ordered us to lay low and sleep what we could. The Indians had entered the cornfield and had kindled small fires to drive the gnats away, as it was a hot and muggy night. Great apprehension existed as to whether we would be discovered by one of these Indians, but we were not, thanks to Providence! At daylight, we commenced the attack. After about 6 hours of fighting, during which time we fired the village, and the explosions resulting from the massive quantities of gunpowder stored in the huts told us that Captain Jacobs boast that he had enough gunpowder to carry the war 10 years was true. Captain Jacobs, his wife and son, Little King, were killed as they fled their burning home. Capt. Mercer took a wound early, and Col. Armstrong was wounded in the shoulder. We killed many of the enemy, but took serious casualties ouselves. I must tell you that I was very concerned for my own safety, and only because of my skills and guile was I able to retreat and get back here relatively unscathed. I do have 4 new creases on my hide...three on my legs and one across my cheek, from musket balls which were sent my way. We did not make what could be described as an orderly retreat, but more of a "get out while you can" escape. We came upon the remnants of Lt. Hogg's detachment, with the Lt. severly wounded in several places, from which he later died. They told us that the small party was actually a very large party of the enemy, severly outnumbering their detachment. The results were devastating to Lt. Hogg and his detachment. All our blankets, baggage, and many of our horses were lost to the enemy. We were obliged to get back on mostly on foot because we had few horses. What had not been taken by the enemy scattered, and we could not spend a lot of time rounding them up again. I arrived here last night, but there are many men not in yet, nor accounted for. While this raid was successful in that at least one threat,in the person of Captain Jacobs, has been eliminated, the cost was quite high. I am certain that my safe return was an act of Divine intervention, there is no other way to describe it.
I have been given a dispatch from our old friend, Sgt. Toot, that I am expected to travel to Tulpehocken in two days time. Until then I will rest, repair my kit, and make preparations for that journey. Lt. Col. Weiser has requested that I be present to give him intelligence to aid in the planning of his upcoming campaign season. I am sure he is anxious for news of Col. Armstrong and his force. He also is awaiting information on how the Augusta Regiment recruiting is going. I am going to strongly suggest a march in force to Fort Frederick to join the 77th and everyone else there in a month's time.
Here comes the dark haired lass...She is running hard this way, and...why, it looks like she is crying...I wonder what is wrong? I must go find out.....
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